I Met Him In Paris (1937, Wesley Ruggles)

The 30’s were full of Ruggles: Charlie Ruggles, Wesley Ruggles, Ruggles of Red Gap… you don’t hear about Ruggles anymore. A shame, for the most part, but I’d be glad not to hear from this particular Ruggles anymore (although I’m likely to catch I’m No Angel or Too Many Husbands eventually). The movie had a good premise and stars, but writer Claude Binyon (Holiday Inn) and Mr. Ruggles tried everything they could to ruin it with crappy dialogue and pacing.

Claudette Colbert takes a solo vacation to Paris, fleeing simple, earnest boyfriend Lee Bowman (who was he in Love Affair? Must have been Chuck Boyer’s friend/agent), but runs into relentless playboy Robert Young (The Canterville Ghost, Fritz Lang’s Western Union) and his reluctant, sarcastic friend Melvyn Douglas (Ninotchka, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House). Bland dialogue ensues, in which Melvyn says something that’s supposed to be witty but isn’t actually witty because of the writer’s limitations, and Claudette, annoyed, tells him he is too sarcastic, phrasing it the same way each time.

They go off to Switzerland (IMDB says it was really Idaho) for a ski vacation, leading to the only exciting scene, in which Claudette gets caught on a bobsled run. A movie’s not a romantic comedy unless she ends up with a guy, and Robert Young turns out to be married. Lee Bowman tracks her down in Switzerland, but she determines that this makes him paranoid, not romantic (a fine distinction), and anyway she didn’t meet him in Paris, so according to the title she must end up with Melvyn, and so she does.